Rates for probationer arrests as a percentage of all adult arrests after the onset of AB 109 — the prison realignment law enacted in late 2011 in response to federal court orders to reduce overcrowding — only went up two percent the next year, from 10 percent two years earlier.
Meaning, only one in eight adults arrested in 2012 was under probation supervision.
“I think that what this tells us is that the sky is not falling,” said Cynthia Burke, criminal justice research director for the San Diego Association of Governments. “It’s something that we need to keep looking at. But Probation, the Sheriff’s Department and the other partners are using evidence-based practices to try to supervise these offenders.”
A new report from In the Public Interest reveals that private prison companies, including two of the largest, the Corrections Corp. of America and Geo Group Inc., are forging deals with state and local governments that provide huge profits based on guaranteed high occupancy rates.
The report, titled “Criminal: How Lockup Quotas and ‘Low-Crime Taxes’ Guarantee Profits for Private Prison Corporations,” “documents the contracts exchanged between private prison companies and state and local governments that either guarantee prison occupancy rates (essentially creating inmate lockup quotas) or force taxpayers to pay for empty beds if the prison population decreases due to lower crime rates or other factors (essentially creating low-crime taxes),”….
With few exceptions and despite increasing investments in enforcement-based supply reduction efforts aimed at disrupting global drug supply, illegal drug prices have generally decreased while drug purity has generally increased since 1990. These findings suggest that expanding efforts at controlling the global illegal drug market through law enforcement are failing.
Unfortunately, the reforms Holder announced so far do not have a retroactive component so hundreds of thousands of non-violent offenders like Cameron Douglas with drug addiction issues are still being warehoused and forgotten. “Federal prisons are full of people who don’t need to be there,” says Jeremy Haile, federal advocacy counsel for the Sentencing Project, “instead they need drug treatment and it’s not clear how much treatment is available or if any of that treatment is adequate”. Recidivism rates among drug offenders would suggest that whatever treatment is on offer is not remotely adequate and there is no evidence that the prison system plans to reform its treatment policies.
In an open letter published by the Huffington Post in June of this year, Cameron Douglas attempted to raise awareness of his own predicament and that of other non-violent offenders who have been left to rot in prison. He wrote:Unfortunately, whereas the effective remedy for relapse should be treatment, the penal system’s ‘answer’ is to lock the door and throw away the key.